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December 4, 2012 • News, Rants and Raves

Is ‘Ugly Scan’ The Worst Idea EVER for an App?

I have two teenage boys who have both male and female friends, so I know that the pressures and mean-ness hasn’t abated through the years but has continued in daily life and also online. Since I keep track of my kids online, I often see them engaged in things such as ‘Like my status for … ‘ or ‘Truth Is …’ or ‘Rating …’ sorts of back and forth with friends.

Within their groups of friends, I have never seen anything particularly terrible – and certainly nothing mean-spirited. But from a variety of news articles, tragic suicides as well as too many bad Lifetime movies, we know that these harmless games too often devolve into bullying, and that kids don’t feel they can escape because being online has become such a large part of their cultural identity.

But today we hear about a new app called ‘Ugly Scan’, with images of Carrie Underwood and Ryan Gosling used to show off the app.

Here is the description:

Do you ever wonder how hot you really are?

Sure we pretend like it doesn’t matter, but deep down we still want to look our best.

Ugly Scan uses advanced facial scanning algorithms including a build in Retina Scan to scan your face and rate your hotness level.

Score a perfect 10 and you’re HOT, score a 0 and you’re NOT.

– Advanced Facial Scan Technology including Retina Scan for accurate results
– Load photo or take one from in the app
– Share your score with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Email
– Cheat Mode lets YOU set the score and trick your friends
– Beautifully rendered HD Retina Display Graphics & Animations

Best Practices:
Ugly Scan works best on forward facing full face images. Side shots or diagonal images may not rate as accurately.

There are all kinds of cute thoughts around using it to redo your hair or makeup or decide on whether to keep that beard or sideburns … but in reality we can picture this in actual usage:
– Someone snaps a terrible picture in the hallway, runs it through the app and posts the ‘2/10’ rating on Facebook and begins a campaign against the person.
– Speaking of campaigns, can’t you see high schoolers using this to say ‘why vote for the 3 when you can have a 9 as class President’.
– And so on.

It just takes all of those ‘truth is’ and ‘rate’ topics on Facebook and adds some pseudo-science to make people think that one person is objectively ‘hotter’ than another. Do we REALLY need to do this to our kids?

If you are really interested you can head to the iTunes app store … but really, don’t.

One Response to " Is ‘Ugly Scan’ The Worst Idea EVER for an App? "

  1. If there wasn’t this app, then there’d be some other stupid childish thing that our kids get subjected to. The app itself isn’t really the problem. It’s the reasons why the app exists in the first place that is the issue and I don’t know how to change that. :-(